Hector Faubel may have won the 125cc Italian Grand Prix from pole position, but the Spaniard looked unlikely to stand on the top step of the podium until the final few inches of Sunday's race.
Ten riders fought furiously for the lead throughout the 20 laps, with Faubel's Aspar Aprilia team-mate Sergio Gadea hitting the front as the last lap began, then doing all he could to keep his charging rivals at arm's length. Gadea was still leading out of the final turn, but Faubel timed his run to perfection and slipstreamed ahead by just 0.020secs at the chequered flag.
The win was Faubel's second of the season and handed the Spaniard the world championship lead after Derbi's Lukas Pesek fell at the final turn.
Simone Corsi completed an all-Aprilia podium and was the top home rider after Mattia Pasini, a frontrunner for much of the race, slipped to sixth in the closing stages.
Race results – Mugello:
1. Faubel (Aprilia)
2. Gadea (Aprilia) +0.020secs
3. Corsi (Aprilia) +0.066secs
4. Talmacsi (Aprilia) +0.134secs
5. Koyama (KTM) +1.662secs
6. Pasini (Aprilia) +1.691secs
7. Cortese (Aprilia) +1.813secs
8. Smith (Honda) +2.959secs
9. Espargaro (Aprilia) +17.495secs
10. Zanetti (Aprilia) +18.277secs
21. Webb (Honda) +1min 25.595secs